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Life and Other Inconveniences

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Kristan Higgins always come through for the reader with emotional reads in women's fiction.  The character development in her novels is flawless.  However, this novel lacked the romantic element that I have enjoyed from many of her other novels (including my all-time favorite, Too Good To Be True).
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I've read Kristan Higgins before, I know, but that was years ago. Have her recent books all been this good?

Emma London has a shit for a dad. When her mother commits suicide, Emma is left with her grandmother, Genevieve, a wealthy, snobby woman who lost her son when he was just a small boy. Ten years after that day, Emma finds that she's pregnant with her high school boyfriend's child and, when she tells her grandmother, Genevieve kicks her out of the house.

It's hard to imagine liking Genevieve after that. She's cold, she's critical, and she seems vicious. But, as we learn, people deal with heartbreak in different ways, and Genevieve has only done what she could to move through the pain of losing her favorite son (hint: it's not Emma's dad). When Genevieve tells Emma that she's dying and asks Emma and her daughter, Riley, to come to Connecticut for the summer, we get to learn more about the woman she is and the woman she had hoped to be.

Every single character is real. Emma is mostly portrayed as flawless, but she's likable, nonetheless. There's a bit of a "Gilmore Girls" feel to her relationship with her daughter, but it's never obnoxious like the Rory and Lorelei Gilmore often were, much to my relief. Genevieve is difficult, but we can understand why that's the case. Emma's father is horrible, but we can understand that, too. These people are real life and I felt like I knew them by the time the book was finished.

One gripe: Tess, the daughter of widower Miller Finlay (Emma's love interest). Three-year-old children are unpredictable and will frequently cause their parents to want to run screaming from the room, but this child...oof. Her language skills were advanced for a child her age, and there was no apparent reason for her over-the-top antics. Acting out because one's parent has died is believable, but the death of Tess's mother, and how it affects Tess, isn't ever discussed. She's just an awful, awful child. Not bad enough, though, for me to feel anything but love for this book. Seriously.
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Ever since Emma's mother committed suicide when Emma was eight, and her father subsequently dropped her off at her grandmother's to stay permanently, life has not been easy. Emma's grandmother, the great Fashion Guru Genevieve London, has always been distant, never really getting over the loss of her young son and subsequently her husband several years later. But for ten years she raises Emma, until one day Emma, now 18, winds up pregnant and insists on keeping the baby, Riley, at the expense of college and all her grandmothers plans. 

Fast forward seventeen years, Emma and Riley are now living with Emma's grandfather (on the other side of the family) and haven't spoken to Genevieve since, until one day quite unexpectedly, Emma receives a call from her. She's dying and wants to see Emma and meet Riley for the first time. So they spend the summer in her Connecticut mansion, and see another side of Genevieve while making new friends along the way.

This is a beautiful story with so much heart to it. Kristin's writing makes you feel like you are there at Sheerwater experiencing the beauty of the place right alongside Emma and Riley. It's told mostly through the perspectives of Emma and Genevieve but also occasionally will be from a supporting characters point of view, which I found I actually really liked.  

It was so easy to connect to all the characters, and it had me rooting for them as I learned about their pasts, and why they are the way that they are now in the present. It will make you laugh and cry. If the beginning seems somewhat slow, stick around to the end and trust me, you'll be glad you did.
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Such a great 5/5 star book! I have loved every book I’ve read by Kristan Higgins, and this was no exception. I do have to,say that I miss her more light hearted books, the last few have been great reads, but not as “fun” as the others. That being said, I did enjoy this book very much, it just left me feeling melancholy instead of happy at the end, and I really prefer books that leave me feeling happy. The characters are, as always in a book by Kristan Higgins, extremely well written. There were several deep and inspiring messages that can be taken from this book. Namely: healing wounds, people’s motives and how their perception or misperception can determine relationships between family members,and that being there for others shows your character. It was an extremely good book, well written with superb character development.
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This is an overwhelming book of sadness, complicated pasts and tragedy. It seemed every character had a depressing story. Told in first person by multiple characters, readers will slowly get to the major secret. If readers are looking for an uplifting story they need to look elsewhere.
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I can't even lie, Kristan Higgins has been a go-to for contemporary for me for a long time. I can't even pretend that I thought there was a chance I'd hate this.

And I didn't!

With her typical character perfection, engaging plot, and humor...this is one I won't forget anytime soon.
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	Meh....I disliked way more than I liked. Makes me sad because I thought her last book was mediocre too. Hate the need to have to throw in all the politically correct crap. Tess, the toddler, was a brat from hell. What toddler tells their parent they hate them all the time and put poop in things???? Seriously? And Genevieve was truly just an ugly human. She has written much better books.
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Higgins is now officially one of my favorite authors!  Her characters are well defined and act in a way true to their personalities, and their relationships, often messy, are real and relatable.  Emma lived with her grandmother, Genevieve, after the death of her own mother.  Kicked out at 18 after getting pregnant, Emma makes a life for herself, but is called back to Connecticut and the family mansion by her grandmother.  Her daughter Riley is also at a crossroads, and Emma decides to return.  What follows is what makes the story so heartfelt.  Highly recommend.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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If you like Kristan Higgins, you won't be disappointed! This was a heartwarming story & I loved the characters.
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Kristan Higgins, what can you say? When I pick up a KH, I know that I will have an excellent story that will break my heart and put it back together again upon completion of the book. This book was no exception. 

Ultimately, though this book deals with some really heavy subjects and plot points, it is supremely hopeful and excellent. I wholeheartedly recommend this title to anyone who loves Higgins, strong women's fiction with romantic elements, and emotional reads.
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Kristan Higgins is one of my very favorite summer reading authors and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of her August 2019 book release. Life and Other Inconveniences is a heartwarming story that is filled with family dynamics, love, heartache, and hope.

Life and Other Inconveniences involves four generations of a family, the ties that bind and the complexities of past choices and how they affect relationships today. Higgin's offers multidimensional characters, diverse relationships and the ability to weave real-life issues into her plotlines. 

While this is a fun and engaging read, Higgins is also able to provide a level of depth that makes her writing thought-provoking and satisfying. Higgin's ability to share these stories from multiple different perspectives allows you as the reader to see where these characters are coming from, even if you don't always agree with their choices. 

In order to move forward, we must often look back at the choices and decisions we have made and Higgins excels at presenting this story in such a powerful and multilayered way. The ending of this book is bittersweet and real, which I find much more satisfying than a "happily ever after" scenario. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Love and heartache are often intertwined. In Life and Other Inconveniences we experience it all through the relationships of strong, independent women over generations. The characters were well developed--some you loved instantly, others we had to grow to love, and others left us disappointed. A heart-warming story that you just want to curl up with over a cup of tea. Have some tissue ready!
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Kristan Higgins just never disappoints and continues to astound with her understanding or relationships of every kind, love in its many forms, and friendships that never quit. "Life and other Inconveniences" is another wonderful story of the ties that bind when life and tragedy happen to disrupt. As always, Kristan's characters are real and well rounded, fallible, lovable and flawed. You can't help but love them because no one is a caricature and everyone has a story. I love all of Kristan's books (full disclosure) but I most appreciate the new depths she plumbs in every subsequent book. And, as always, I want to run out and get a dog (and I'm a cat person!). 

In addition, Kristan has been a huge champion of diversity in romance and I love, love, love that she interweaves so many diverse characters into her books - without ever making anyone a token. 

I was crying at the end of this - not just sad tears about the story line but happy ones at the strength of these characters and their hard won HEA. This book will stay with me for a very long time. Brava, Kristan!
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In this novel, Higgins explores the complex relationships between caregivers and their children, as four generations of one family reflect on their past as the failing health of the family matriarch looms large. Emma London's grandmother, Genevieve,  raised her after her father walked out of her life, following the suicide of Emma's mother, but Genevieve also kicked out Emma as a pregnant 19 year old. Genevieve has never fully recovered the disappearance of her oldest son when he was just 8 years old. Emma's daughter, Riley, has never met her glamorous grandmother before this summer, and she's also busy meeting her own father's new family. Kristan Higgins has a gift for creating fully developed characters with real world problems that aren't Happily Ever Aftered away. The relationships and conclusions in this book felt wholly earned. Highly recommended.
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This was a book I couldn't put down. It was,  in turn, heartwarming, poignant and sad. There are many backstories, but at the center is a flawed family, with secrets with  a lot to learn and to forgive. The characters were very well-drawn and believable. I particularly liked the kindness and caring in Riley, the teenager. All in all, a time well spent.
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The phone call from Emma’s estranged grandmother rocks the life she has painstakingly built for herself and her teenaged daughter Riley.  Genevieve’s news of her terminal illness coincide with summer break and Ril.ey’s troubles with mean girls at her school, so Emma opts to move Riley back to the town that rejected her when she was a pregnant teenager.  

This story, told from multiple perspectives of a dysfunctional and lonely family, initially seems to have too many big issues to wind together:  The disappearance of Genevieve’s son when he was a young child,  the suicide of Emma’s mother,  Emma’s deadbeat dad, Emma’s teenage pregnancy, and working to put herself through college and are for her baby, Genevieve’s devastating illness and other secrets, and a new romance.  By the end of the story, however, each piece settles into place and the story of a family who’s choices made from anger and sadness settle into a bittersweet conclusion.
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Wonderful book by Higgins. I thoroughly enjoyed  watching the characters and their relationships evolve. I would definitely recommend to others.
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Emma London has made a life for herself despite the circumstances of her upbringing. When her mom committed suicide, her absent father left her to be raised by his mother, the rich and rigid matriarch of the family, Genevieve London. But when Emma became pregnant as a teenager she was unceremoniously kicked out of her home to raise her daughter alone. So when Genevieve calls her home more than a decade later because she's dying, all of Emma's instincts scream to stay away. It's only for her teenage daughter's future that she acquiesces. Now she's faced with the dark story of her past as she and the people who raised her question what really makes a family. 

This is a story about grief, coping, healing, and forgiveness. I couldn't put it down.
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Yes, I love Gilmore Girls -- and I loved this story of a woman and her grandmother coming to understand one another.  An absorbing read.

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a big Kristan Higgins fan. I discovered her novels a few years ago when she switched from writing romance to women’s fiction, with If You Only Knew and On Second Thought. I fell in love with these sister-stories filled with heartfelt family drama and romance. (Seriously, go read those books. They made me laugh, cry, and sigh I’m contented pleasure on the last page). Since reading those books, I went back and read ALL her prior ones, which are romance novels, sweet and funny and delightful. 

So. I was thrilled to get an advanced e-copy of her latest, Life and Other Inconveniences. Like her recent novels, this is women’s fiction/family drama with an element of romance. The story centers on the relationship of Emma London with her grandmother Genevieve, a fashion mogul who raised Emma but then kicked her out when Emma got pregnant at the age of 17. Now Genevieve is dying, and her last request is for Emma to bring her daughter (now a teenager herself) to spend their last summer together.

The narrative alternates primarily between Emma and Genevieve, and I liked getting to know prickly Genevieve and the slightly neurotic Emma. We also have chapters from other characters, including Emma’s teenage daughter, Emma’s self-centered father, and Miller, a hardworking widower who ends up being Emma’s love interest. 

Higgins has a knack for writing relatable characters and for keeping me engaged. I just enjoy hanging out in her stories. Still, this one felt a little cluttered with the multiple points of view and all the many, many issues we confront. Child abandonment, entitlement, teen pregnancy, aging, suicide, mental illness, tuberous sclerosis, grieving, missing children, parenting. It’s all well done, but there was a lot going on. 

Overall, I loved the book. Kristan Higgins remains one of my go-to authors for engaging women’s fiction. This isn’t my favorite of hers (seriously, go read the ones I mentioned above) but I felt my time with it was well spent! 

Thanks to @Netgalley and @berkleypub for my free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Releases August 6, 2019!
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